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Lycamobile accused of money laundering & VAT fraud in France

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Lycamobile France, three of its managers and eight other people are on trial in Paris from Monday on charges of money laundering and VAT fraud between 2014 and 2016, French media reported.

Lycamobile is owned by Subaskaran Aliraja, who has become the ultimate owner of three radio and television channels in Sri Lanka. The company has also offered to buy state-owned shares in Sri Lanka Telecom PLC and Lanka Hospital PLC.

BFM Business news said a Paris Court is looking into Lycamobile involving a series of front companies and traders in the Parisian district of La Chapelle, which would have made it possible to launder more than 17 million euros in seven months.

However, according to the company, which defends itself from any infringement, has said that a “system” has been set up “without their knowledge.” 

Revealed by the Buzzfeed site, the investigations were launched in early 2016 into the allegations.

The investigations revealed a circular operation where there were construction companies which made transfers and checks to “filter” companies in exchange of false invoices.

These companies, in reality empty shells, bought cards and phone recharges from Lycamobile, but these goods were not received, according to the investigation.

Two Lycamobile sales reps resold them to shops in the 18th arrondissement of Paris.

The prepaid cards and their top-ups were resold on the “ethnic market” of North African, African and Indo-Pakistani communities wishing to call abroad.

“This procedure shows very clearly that filter companies and construction companies have organized and implemented a system to remunerate work concealed by a game of SIM card resales without the knowledge of Lycamobile”, a company spokesperson has told the AFP. 

“We cannot therefore hold Lycamobile responsible for the implementation of this illegal scheme which is totally foreign to it”, adds the spokesperson.

The court will examine suspicions of VAT fraud through the “misuse” of an existing legal derogatory regime in the telephone sector.

The prosecution considers that, via an “arrangement” between the two sister companies, Lycamobile Services improperly resold the telephone products, purchased all taxes included (TTC) from Lycamobile France, at a price excluding tax (HT), which allowed it to claim VAT refunds.

Lycamobile France, Lycamobile Services, as well as Alain Jochimek, managing director of the two companies, are tried for laundering or misuse of corporate assets and concealed work in an organized gang.

Lycamobile Services and Alain Jochimek are tried for VAT fraud.

Eight other defendants are tried for one or the other offence, suspected of having played a role in the scheme.

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Notice on rebuilding or compensating housing damaged by bad weather

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Senior Advisor to the President on National Security and Chief of Staff to the President Sagala Ratnayaka, announced that President Ranil Wickremesinghe has directed to take the necessary measures to either rebuild or provide compensation, subject to a maximum limit, for houses that were completely damaged by the recent adverse weather conditions.

Mr. Sagala Ratnayaka also stated that measures will be implemented to assess the damage and provide compensation, subject to a specified maximum limit, for the repair of partially damaged houses.

Mr. Sagala Ratnayaka shared these views during a discussion held at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday (20), concerning the rebuilding of houses fully and partially damaged by recent adverse weather conditions.

The discussion extensively covered the reconstruction of houses affected by natural calamities such as strong winds, floods and landslides, which have impacted various parts of the country in recent days. The provision of suitable compensation, subject to a maximum limit, was also deliberated.

To ensure appropriate compensation within specified limits, for fully damaged houses upon agreement with beneficiaries, and prompt construction of such houses with the assistance of the Armed Forces. Additionally, the assessment and repair of partially damaged houses, with compensation also subject to a specified maximum limit, were discussed.

Mr. Sagala Ratnayaka also directed District Secretaries to submit formal reports on houses fully and partially damaged by natural calamities.

In attendance at the discussion were State Minister of Defence Pramitha Bandara Tennakoon, the three commanders of the armed forces, and heads of relevant line Institutions. Participating remotely were District Secretaries and Divisional Secretaries via online technology.

(President’s Media Division)

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Piyumi’s income generated from Lollia Skin Care – CID

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The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has initiated a thorough investigation regarding a beauty products manufacturing company named Lollia Skin Care (Pvt) Ltd, which is said to be the main source of income of model Piyumi Hansamali, who is under investigation for her assets.

It was informed to the Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court yesterday by the Illegal Assets Investigation Division of the CID. This company has been registered under the Business Registration Number PV00256805.

According to the CID, the investigation will be focused on businesses carried out by this company, taxes paid and also the imports and exports carried out by the company.

The Illegal Assets Investigation Division of the CID on Wednesday (19) informed the Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court that an investigation was initiated regarding the purchase of a Range Rover Jeep for Rs.78 million, the purchase of a house from Grand Housing Complex in Colombo 7 for Rs.148 million and maintaining 20 bank accounts with suspicious transactions by Piyumi Hansamali. It has been revealed that these 20 accounts have been opened in relation to the National Identity Card numbers of her and people closely associating the model.

The investigations were based on a complaint lodged by President of the ‘Magen Ratata’ organization Sanjaya Mahawatta under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

(dailynews.lk)
(This story, originally published by dailynews.lk has not been edited by SLM staff)

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Dharma Rashmi Homagama Poson Zone to commence today

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The Dharma Rashmi Homagama Poson Zone annually held to coincide with the Poson Poya will be held from June 21 – 23.

This year, the Poson Zone spans across 13 kilometres covering Diyagama, Pitipana, Dampe, Meegoda, Godagama, Panagoda and Homagama.

The event is jointly organized by the Homagama Sasanarakshaka Bala Mandalaya, the Presidential Secretariat, the Transport and Highways Ministry, the Western Provincial Council, the Homagama Divisional Secretariat, Homagama Pradeshiya Sabha, the Homagama Zonal Education office, the Army and the Police.

Cash prizes to the value of Rs. 4 million will be given to the winners of the Poson Lantern competition.

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